Genoa trustee Todd Smith is a two-time convicted drunk driver – and he’s celebrating on Facebook how much he’s still drinking

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Genoa Township Trustee Todd Smith is a two-time convicted drunk driver who spent 45 days in jail for a DUI just a few years ago. Despite this, he not only continues to drink – he uses his Facebook page to celebrate how much he drinks.

It’s a stunning display of incredibly bad behavior for any two-time convicted drunk driver – let alone one who’s a public official. Not only has he not stopped drinking; he wants everyone to know just how much he’s still drinking.

If you go to Smith’s Facebook page, you’ll see dozens of postings and photos from this year alone of him celebrating and bragging about what he’s drinking and how much he’s drinking. He’s constantly checking in on Facebook at various bars around the state, saying he’s “Eating Cocktails.” And he’s posted dozens of photos of whatever cocktail, martini or glass of wine he happens to be drinking at the time.

This from a public official who spent more than a month in jail for drinking and driving. Absolutely stunning.

Smith has served on the Genoa Township Board since 2000, and he filed for re-election this year. He’s one of five trustee candidates in the Republican primary, seeking four open seats.

Smith has been one of the central figures on the Genoa board in denying Livingston Christian Schools a place in the township. He voted against Livingston Christian being able to locate at the Brighton Nazarene Church (despite the fact the Genoa Planning Commission recommended in favor of it).

Smith’s reason for opposing the Christian school? He said it would create a traffic hazard.

Seems he knows a thing or two about creating a traffic hazard.

According to a 2012 story in the Livingston Daily Press & Argus, Smith was convicted of drunken driving twice within an eight-month span in 2008 and 2009, while he served on the Genoa board:

  • The first arrest occurred at about 2 a.m. Sept 14, 2008. Smith was operating a vehicle on Main Street in Brighton at 38 mph in a 25-mph speed zone when he was pulled over. The judge sentenced him to three days of community service for that offense.
  • Smith’s second arrest was made by Ottawa County’s Grand Haven police on May 29, 2009. He pleaded guilty, and the judge sentenced him to 45 days in jail and one year of probation. If Genoa was observing its two-meetings-a-month schedule back then, Smith likely missed at least two township board meetings because he was behind bars.

Despite his convictions, Smith continues to drink and brag about his drinking on Facebook. A small sampling of recent Facebook posts:

  • January 29, 2016: While in Florida, Smith posted a photo of a Bloody Mary along with the caption, “One Bloody Mary before heading back this afternoon to the cold.”
  • February 22, 2016: Smith posted a photo that said, “I finally quit drinking for good. Now I drink for evil.”
  • February 28, 2016: Smith checked in that he was “Drinking Cocktails” at the Downtown Main Martini Bar & Grill in Brighton. He wrote, “Seemed like a good idea.”
  • March 11, 2016: Smith posted a photo of a martini he was apparently drinking, along with a one-word post: “Friday!”
  • March 24, 2016: Smith checked in that he was “Eating Dinner and Cocktails” at the Downtown Main Martini Bar & Grill in Brighton. He wrote, “Yes the drink is very cold!!”
  • As recently as May 28, 2016, Smith posted a photo of a glass of wine he was drinking.

There are dozens and dozens more drinking-related posts going back several years on his Facebook page. As of this writing, Smith’s page was set to Public status, so anyone can view it.

When the Daily Press & Argus did a story in 2012 on Smith’s two drunk-driving convictions, he refused to speak with a reporter, but did issue a statement via e-mail:

“Thank you for your inquiry as to my past bad decisions that I had made approximately four years ago. I am deeply saddened that I had made several bad choices in 2008 and 2009, and chose to operate a vehicle while under the influence. I have taken full responsibility of my actions and attended all requirements and recommendations that resulted from my poor decision-making.

“I continue to be keenly aware of the major issues of operating a motor vehicle after having several drinks and strongly feel that operating a motor vehicle after drinking of any kind should not be tolerated.

“While we are all human, I have learned from my error of judgments and take personal responsibility to practice safe driving and to encourage others to not make the same poor decisions even if they consider driving even after one drink!!”

So, Smith says that if you have even one drink, you shouldn’t operate a motor vehicle. Hmmm. One wonders how he makes it to and from the Downtown Main Martini Bar & Grill during his apparent many visits there.

To date, none of Smith’s fellow board members – including Trustee Linda Rowell, who’s running for supervisor this year – have publicly condemned Smith’s continued drinking and Facebook-related drinking celebrations.

A group of Genoa Township residents who were involved in the Livingston Christian Schools/Light of the World Academy controversy last summer say they’ll be attending an upcoming Genoa meeting en masse to confront Smith about his behavior and ask the other board members why they haven’t condemned it.

The story promises to intensify over the summer. The Republican primary is Aug. 2.

What do you think about Todd Smith’s Facebook posts? Leave a comment below.

About Buddy Moorehouse 85 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

8 Comments

  1. I’m sorry — is drinking suddenly illegal? Is this suddenly 1920 again? I’m confused.

    I don’t know Todd Smith and I don’t have any vested interest whatsoever in the Livingston Christian Schools debate (I don’t even live in Brighton) — Todd Smith could be a complete moron deserving of being ousted from the Brighton Township Board, but for pity’s sake, stick to his record as a board member, not what he does in his personal life.

    Many people make the terrible mistake of drunk driving, and go on to regret it, and it sounds like Todd has done that. As he said, he paid the penalties associated with his crime and as far as the record seems to show, he hasn’t had a three-peat (If he had, I’m sure Buddy would be on it.)

    Guess what? There are people who have had these convictions in the past who have gone through treatment and do not completely abstain from alcohol consumption for the rest of their lives. The key to treatment is managing your behavior so it does not become a problem. This is becoming widely accepted as an alternative to complete abstinence in alcohol treatment programs.

    This comes off as a shameless hit piece written by someone who has a vested interest in the outcome of Livingston Christian Schools. How is it Christian to take the personal sins of someone who has shown remorse for their past decisions and parade them out in judgement to advance a “Christian” cause? It isn’t Christian at all. What was that verse again about the plucking the plank from one’s own eye?

    • Interesting approach, Kasey: If someone is a two-time convicted drunk driver, just keep on drinking. Not sure how this became “widely accepted” as the way to go for repeat drunk drivers!

      You can call this a “shameless hit piece” if you want, and I won’t argue. Every word of it is true, though, and I wrote it because I want people to know about Todd Smith’s record and behavior. They can form their own opinions, as you did.

      As I’ve outlined, though, I have no vested interest in the outcome of Livingston Christian Schools. I did last summer, but I don’t now. None. I have no connection with the school whatsoever. I appreciate the lecture on what it means to be a good Christian, though, and I’ll certainly take your Biblical lessons to heart!

      • It’s called Moderation Management and it is a thing. I’m no substance abuse counselor, but then again neither are you. And I’m not the one claiming to be an expert on the drinking habits of others — let alone specific individuals.

        • Yeah, I am sure Todd Smith went through the program. Chapter 1, Moderation Management:

          Drink Moderatly, Be Sure to Brag About It on Facebook.

          You’re cured, Mr. Smith.

        • That said, Kasey…I do agree that people can fix problems in their lives, and its a wonderful human thing.

          The problem here, however, is the damage Todd Smith has done to his peers on the Board and trust in government. Keep in mind, his drunk driving in Livingston County got a slap on the wrist, while in the other County he did jail time of some sort. Maybe his slap on the wrist in Livingston County was standard and all 1st time drunk drivers get the same, I don’t know. But there’s also the chance he skated because he was a local official – pretty good chance, I’d say. That’s where trust in govt. gets harmed.

          Regardless, if Todd Smith had any respect at all for his peers or for the voting public, he would have resigned, dealt with any issues, and if he wanted to…run again in the future. Instead his presence brought shame and controversy to his fellow board members…and that is without the bragging about drinking on Facebook.

          If you look at the whole of Todd Smith’s record – the drunk drivings, the absurdity of a real estate agent going against the Planning Commission rec to approve a school, and his willful and showy avoiding eye contact with citizens pleading for their school….you are left with a pretty clear picture of who is Todd Smith.

          Just my opinion, obviously. I suppose it’s possible that he’s a real estate agent who is not trying to take advantage of his position on Genoa’s Board, is just really shy so can’t make eye contact with the pleading public, and his drinking exploits add to his wisdom and judgment in making decisions which affect the public. Possible….uh, I guess.

  2. I don’t see what the big deal is. A two-time convicted drunk driver and his buddy Linda Rowell act together to deprive children and their parents of a school approved by the township’s Planning process. It’s not like they are abusing their public positions or endangering the public with reckless petty actions. Really, it’s not…Todd Smith and Linda Rowell are honorable people…just have to overlook the facts to see so.

  3. It’s not complicated:

    Todd Smith is a danger to the community – a danger on the roads and a danger as a “Trust”ee who votes on matters which affect people’s lives, including the parents and children who were deprived of the school which the Planning Commission approved.

    His mere existence as a trustee who did not resign after his first, or his second, drunk driving conviction tells you something about the character of the entire Genoa Township Board of Trustees.

    Why didn’t they demand his resignation ?

    Why didn’t they go to the widely-circulated papers to make more people aware of the dangers he poses ?

    There’s a pretty simple answer: the Trustees of Genoa Township are frauds and cowards. They are in it for themselves, not in it for the community which funds their public stewardship positions.

    Yes, Todd Smith needs to go – that’s obvious.

    Yes, Linda Rowell needs to go – less obvious, but because she subverted the will of the people, expressed through the Planning Commission legal processes. And just as importantly, remained quiet about the dangers posed by Todd Smith.

    Very sad, Linda Rowell. Very sad.

    John Ewing

  4. Meeting confrontation sounds interesting, but remember, Todd Smith is a routine drunk driver – SPINNING IS IN HIS BLOOD !

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